Van Jones on Trayvon Martin, Racial Violence and Why Obama Ignored Race Issues For Two Years

As thousands of people across the country call for justice in the case of Trayvon Martin, we’re joined by Van Jones, longtime anti-police brutality activist and co-founder of, which aims to strengthen Black America’s political voice. He describes fearing for his own safety while wearing a hoodie and discusses the state of race relations under President Obama. "This kind of hits close to home for me. I’m an African-American father. I’ve got two little black boys," Jones says. "How am I going to protect these young guys? I mean, do you have to dress your kid in a tuxedo now to send them down the street?" Jones says the moral voice of the black community on race went silent after Obama was attacked for his response to the 2009 unlawful arrest of Harvard University Professor Henry Louis "Skip" Gates, Jr., and hopes the Trayvon Martin case "opens the door for the kind of grown folks’ conversation we thought he was going to be able to lead when he was a candidate—well, that he did lead when he was a candidate, that hopefully we can see now going forward."

Democracy Now! / By Amy Goodman | Sourced from

Posted at April 3, 2012, 5:50am

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